AI Automation: A Blessing or a Curse for the Global Job Market and the Future of Work?

A scene depicting a global office space at dusk, with an artistic touch of pointillism, showing various professionals at work. In the foreground, female administrative workers, bank tellers, and hotel receptionists are represented, hinting at a sense of uncertainty and anticipation. In the midground, automated AI bots, depicted as translucent figures, are seen performing tasks. The background transitions from a bustling cityscape of a high-income country to a calmer low-income country landscape, subtly illustrating the geographical impact of AI. The image conveys a mixture of apprehension and optimism.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will likely play a complementary role in the job market rather than replace existing jobs, according to a study from the United Nations agency International Labour Organization. However, the impact could be significant for particular roles, subjecting certain workers to possible hardship. The investigation revealed that clerical jobs could be more exposed to automation, with 24% deemed highly susceptible and an additional 58% at medium risk. Fields such as typists, bank tellers, travel consultants, and hotel receptionists could be in the line of fire.

This situation might affect women the most given their higher representation in administrative roles. As per the study, 3.7% of all female employment globally is in jobs potentially automatable with generative AI technology, as compared to only 1.4% of male employment.

AI automation also has a distinct geographical impact. Employees in high-income countries risk being affected more (5.5%) than their counterparts in low-income countries, which the report estimates to be at a minimal 0.4%.

The customer service sphere also faces a potential revamp from AI automation, with duties pertaining to coordination, data management, record keeping, and information processing being particularly susceptible. Notably, customer service roles in the Web3 sector already makeup 2.5% of job listings on cryptocurrency job board The Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken platforms have already made significant customer service headcount reductions during the 2022 crypto winter.

However, the study concludes that it anticipates no drastic impact on the overall workforce due to AI, and its effects being neither distinctly positive nor negative for now. The deciding factor would be how the generative pre-training transformers (GPTs) are managed and regulated. Key policies are necessary to prevent an imbalance, ensuring that the benefits of transition are shared equitably and the costs to the affected workers are manageable.

Despite the relatively optimistic findings of the ILO, a recent survey disclosed that 62% of Americans feel wary and worried, believing AI will have a major impact on the workplace over the next 20 years. The fear stems from the upheavals AI might bring to traditional job roles and whether they have measures in place to accommodate these sweeping changes.

Source: Cointelegraph

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